The increasing popularity of chatbots and voice technology means that advertisers have to engage with consumers much more conversationally, building long-term relationships that are based on offering personalized, friendly guidance and advice, writes Gupshup's Beerud Sheth. This inevitable focus on conversation means that "[a]rtificial-intelligence-powered bots are bound to become the new marketer," Sheth writes.
Verizon has reportedly struck a more-than-$2 billion, five-year deal with the NFL to livestream more content and games across digital and mobile networks. The deal includes mobile ad inventory for in-market games.
With the advent of EMV chips and mobile taps, American Express has decided to do away with required signatures for purchases with its card next year. American Express follows Discover and Mastercard in dispensing with signatures, citing advances in other methods of fraud detection.
Sephora's Nandini Joshi talks about the brand's intention to build on its influencer marketing, how it combats fake engagement and why mutual trust and respect are essential in maintaining successful, long-term partnerships. "[Y]ou have to believe in the authentic voice that they have and see whether that fits with your audience or not and work with them in a trustful manner," she says.
With mobile app users spending about one month out of every year in their apps, worldwide monetization is likely to grow 30% in 2018 and reach $110 billion, App Annie projects. Global markets are the key to gains, especially in such major developing nations as China, Brazil and India.
Responding to two murders, the Mexican state of Puebla last month banned cash payments for Uber rides and, weeks later, Uber has complied. A ban on cash for ride-sharing is in effect in several Latin American markets due to security fears and competition with traditional taxis.
Walmart's Brazilian unit is expanding its online offerings and integrating e-commerce with its brick-and-mortar stores. The $464 million, four-year project will include a digital marketplace that brings in products offered by third parties.
Artificial intelligence is making some of its most important headway in the Middle East and Africa. Researchers are leveraging AI to tackle persistent problems that deal with quality of health care, finance and agriculture that simply don't exist in the more developed world, Dave Gershgorn writes.
Amazon continued to forge ahead in 2017 with major acquisitions, winning plays in original content and programming and new Echo devices. Hilary Milnes runs through the year's major Amazon events, including the acquisition of Whole Foods and the heated competition for Amazon's second US headquarters.
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